PR63 - Stoychev (BUL) wins three of four recent FINA open water races

2009

This weekend (August 8), Varna (BUL) will host the next race of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup (MSWC). Meanwhile, in the last few weeks, four big races from both of FINA’s two major open water swimming circuits – the FINA 10km MSWC and the FINA Open Water Swimming (OWS) Grand Prix (GP) – took place.

The following events were held: the FINA OWS GP Ohrid Lake, Macedonia (July 18, 2009); FINA 10km MSWC Lac St. Jean, Canada (July 23, 2009); FINA OWS GP Lac St. Jean, Canada (July 25, 2009); and the FINA OWS GP Lac Magog, Canada (August 1, 2009). After all these, one man continues to dominate the 2009 FINA Grand Prix: Petar Stoychev (BUL); already one of the greatest open water swimmers ever. While the world focused on Rome and the 13th FINA World Championships, Stoychev triumphed in three more GP races (Ohrid, Lac St. Jean and Magog). See below for highlights/medallists of the most recent races, as well as a preview of the Varna event:


July 18: FINA OWS GP, Ohrid Lake (MKD) Swimming Marathon – 30km
Stoychev battled for this win, going head-to-head for the touch with silver medallist Aleksandar Studzinsky (GER). The bronze medal went to Damian Blaum (ARG), who is in the top-3 of the general GP rankings, having won six medals on the 2009 GP circuit so far (he would go on to win two silvers at the Lac St. Jean and Magog stops), but none gold.

Among women, Camilla Frediani (ITA) secured her first of two straight wins (she would go on to also win the Traversée du Lac St. Jean). The silver medallist was Pilar Geijo (ARG) in 5h50m47s55 (Geijo too would proceed to win silver at all three of the GP races being reviewed here). Later on, Marianela Mendoza (ARG) completed the distance for bronze.

Medallists – MEN Medallists – WOMEN
1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 5h25m38 1. Camilla Frediani (ITA) 5h50m37
2. Aleksandar Studzinsky (GER) 5h25m38 2. Pilar Geijo (ARG) 5h50m47
3. Damian Blaum (ARG) 5h25m48 3. Marianela Mendoza (ARG) 6h23m56


July 23: FINA 10km MSWC, Lac St. Jean (CAN)
Studzinsky won, followed by David Browne (AUS) in second and Charles Cullom (USA) taking bronze. In the very small women’s field, Americans Christine Jennings and Nicole Vernon captured gold and silver over the Olympic distance. Heather Maitland (CAN) was third. This was the third out of 13 legs of the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup 2009 circuit. Next year, the venue for this race - and that of the Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean - will host the 2010 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships.

Medallists – MEN Medallists – WOMEN
1. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 1h57m25 1. Christine Jennings (USA) 2h09m58
2. David Browne (AUS) 1h57m42 2. Nicole Vernon (USA) 2h14m19
3. Charles Cullom (USA) 1h58m36 3. Heather Maitland (CAN) 2h14m35


July 25: FINA OWS GP, 55th Traversée Internationale du lac St. Jean (CAN) – 32km
The Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean ended with a happy victory for Stoychev, who has now won this event nine consecutive times. In fact, Stoychev chose to cross Lac St. Jean over the 25km race of the 13th FINA World Championships. Instead of staying in Rome, he flew immediately after swimming the 10km World Championship race (July 22) to compete in the Traversée. Fighting jet-lag, Stoychev prevailed ahead of Blaum and Joanes Hedel (FRA). Among women, Frediani won for a second time, and was once again joined on the podium by Geijo and Mendoza.

Medallists – MEN Medallists – WOMEN
1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 6h58m39 1. Camillia Frediani (ITA) 7h33m51
2. Damian Blaum (ARG) 6h59m53 2. Pilar Geijo (ARG) 7h36m53
3. Joanés Hedel (FRA) 7h06m19 3. Marianela Mendoza (ARG) 8h06m46


August 1: FINA OWS GP, 31st Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog – 34km
Here again, the winner was Stoychev, and once again it was his ninth consecutive victory over this particular event. He also won in a record time of 7h16m22, defeating the silver medallist Blaum and Studzinski, who finished third. Stoychev said he was helped by the radiant sun (the air temperature was a nice 26°C) and the water temperature, which he thought was perfect. There were 3000 people watching him finish, including about 100 Bulgarians, who became emotional when their anthem was played. Among women, Anna Uvarova – fresh from taking the 25km silver medal at the 13th FINA World Championships of Rome 2009 (on July 25) - prevailed, while Pilar Geijo and Natalya Pankina – the overall GP winner from last year – took silver and bronze.

Medallists – MEN Medallists – WOMEN
1. Petar Stoychev (BUL) 7h16m22 1. Anna Uvarova (RUS) 7h44m19
2. Damian Blaum (ARG) 7h17m20 2. Pilar Geijo (ARG) 7h44m19
3. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 7h24m15 3. Natalya Pankina (RUS) 7h44m32


NEXT: August 8: FINA 10km MSWC, Varna (BUL)

This Saturday, FINA’s renowned 10km Marathon Swimming series continues with a vengeance, when Varna Bay welcomes some of the world’s best – including World Champion Thomas Lurz (GER), Beijing Olympic silver medallist David Davies (GBR), Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS), who just won the 25km bronze at the Roma09 World Championships, Olympians Brian Ryckeman (BEL) and Allan Do Carmo (BRA), and of course, the home hero and legend – Petar Stoychev.

The women’s field will include Angela Maurer (GER), 25km World Champion of 2009, Olympic Champion Larisa Ilchenko (RUS), Poliana Okimoto (BRA), who took bronze in the 5km at Roma09, and Olympians Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), Swann Oberson (SUI), and more.
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